“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee… *perpetually messy house*!” I believe I’ve officially reached my breaking point with my never tidy house. For the sake of my sanity, I’ve decided that it’s time I take back my home!
I know certain things about myself, like the fact that I lean towards being a perfectionist, and harbor neat freak tendencies. But I didn’t want my kids to grow up in fear of their mom’s obsessive compulsive need to have everything exactly in its precise place, at all times.
So around the time when our children entered the scene, I slowly but deliberately let go of any presumptions of being house proud. “It’s no longer realistic, nor practical”, I told myself. “To be a Good Mom, you need to be more laid back, and not care about things like the house being a disaster. That’s just your family’s life happening around you.”
These are the things I’d try and reassure myself with. And yet recently I’ve found my nerves more and more frayed by this state of affairs.
It looks like a little tornado ripped through…
- 1st) some sort of laundromat, or clothing store full of only dirty clothes; then
- 2nd) a gigantic toy store; and then arriving at its final destination,
- 3rd) my house, dropping it’s disastrously claimed trophies in each and every room.
I often describe it as looking like the Tasmanian Devil tore through (although this analogy also applies to the wake left behind my 2 year old son, in general). “No Room Left Behind!“, that appears to be my family’s Mess-Up-Moms-House motto.
And don’t even get me started on the catch-everything breakfast bar counter top. **shudders**
I’m not sure why the adult female in the home is the only one who appears to care about this state of affairs. Don’t they LIKE being able to find their things? Don’t they ENJOY a drowsy, early morning stroll through the living room completely devoid of the hazard of stepping on a painfully sharp wooden block or Matchbox car? Am I the only one who desires a clean section of kitchen counter top on which to prepare a snack… for the love?!
This has been slowly building over time. It is now to the point that I feel I spend my entire weekend off (I work full time) trying to play catch up, and it still doesn’t look so great by Sunday night. I can literally spend 5 hours straight, walking from room to room, putting things away, cleaning things, sorting through and getting ride of things… and when I stop for an exhausted break, I take a look around – and it doesn’t look any different!
I think that’s the straw which has finally broke the camel’s back. I get crabbier and crabbier about it. It feels completely overwhelming, and I feel like I no longer get any of those peaceful (sorely needed) “Aaaah… I’m just going to sit here and read in my clean house” moments. Something needs to change.
This is now a work in progress, but here’s my Plan / Dream. I believe that if I get my house to a certain point, and coach my family kindly on a few supportive concepts, we can get this to a much better maintenance level. Not perfection, by any means. I’m talking about a handful of attainable goals. I’ve chosen to start with: toys picked up in the living room, and a (moderately) cleaned up kitchen. Each night, before we go to bed.
While not at 100% track record yet, we are getting there slowly. And I gotta tell ya – waking up in the morning and walking through this Brave New Home has been a real shot in the arm for me. I’ve established a few truly clean, tidy niches around the house. Ok, admittedly – they don’t last too long. But overall it’s left me feeling more invigorated than a good workout, or even a caffeine buzz… like I have a new lease on a somewhat controlled life.
Call me neurotic, but I just plain feel happier when my house is in order.
So I actually think it’s ok that I’ve re-imbraced my inner neat freak. And I think we’re all going to be better off for it, in the long run.
*o* *o* *o*
How do you cope with a messy house, or try and mitigate some of the damage? I need help… please share!
So is it a healthier